I would like to personally apologize for any out-of-character-ness or technical/plot-related errors contained within this fanfiction, and to offer you my regret that it could not have been better. Kindly contact me via review or e-mail so as to inform me whether you enjoyed – oh, heck.
PLZ REVEW THX! J I WILL GIVE U CHIBBI PLUSHIE!
He strode briskly into the spacious room, hardly allowing a greeting before speaking. "Report."
"Yes, sir. Uh…" A man only slightly older than him coughed nervously. It was his first week on this particular staff, and it showed. "Our results have come in, sir."
"That's why I asked for a report," said Kaiba in a slow, dangerous voice.
He had no time for fools.
Quickly, the young man's superior took charge. "Sir, we've been slipping as of late."
"In which areas?"
"All. Basically, sir…" He smiled. "Everyone who had wanted a Duel Disk or accompanying software…"
"…has it," finished the younger employee. "Sir, we need to create something new, to appeal to a new set of interests – w-with your approval, of course."
Kaiba sat forward in his chair, propping his chin on his hands. "And what do you propose 'we' do?"
"Well, sir…" The older man had taken grasp of the conversation again, pushing up a pair of round glasses. "We have noticed that there is a particular … demographic … that has, until now, hardly been targeted by the gaming industry."
"Teenage females, sir."
A small hiss of breath. "And what sort of game do you believe would draw their interest?" Kaiba had his suspicions, but was loath to admit them.
"Studies show that… um… well…"
"Most are fascinated by…"
"Attractive homosexual males," chorused the two, putting their heads in their hands.
A dating simulation.
How had the great Seto Kaiba been forced to lower himself to creating this?
Admittedly, it was by choice – he wouldn't let an opportunity to advance KaibaCorp far beyond the reach of its few competitors pass easily – but it was still quite embarrassing to have to work on. This was for two main reasons:
Firstly, he had hardly any idea of how real romances worked, having only picked up the basics from classic literature. And, even then, they were heterosexual romances. Was there a difference?
Secondly, what would happen when the press got hold of it?
He would worry about the latter when the time came; however, the former was far more pressing. If he were to create a dating sim focused on matchmaking boys, it wouldn't be a novice hack job. Each and every choice, every reaction to every action, had to be believable. What would work? What wouldn't? How could he make the 'plot', what plot there was, be captivating enough to keep the players wishing for more?
What did he need?
One. Knowledge of the workings of homosexual relationships, vital to creating a plausible plot.
Two. Attractive males. Characters pretty enough to catch potential buyers' interest.
Three. A choice of gaming system. Would it be a multiple-platform release? Would he create his own system specifically for the games, or would the added cost drive buyers away? What was the average cost that they would be able or willing to pay?
Four. Good music. But that could wait.
How would he go about this?
First things first.
There were still things that even the great Seto Kaiba had yet to learn.
His first stop had been a nearby bookstore. Having disguised himself with readily available sunglasses, hat, and jacket that did not protrude three feet from his rear, Kaiba had entered and proceeded to pick up any titles that caught his notice. For variety as well as visual aid, he added a few prominent comic books to his steadily growing stack. Other customers watched him in awe as he made his way to the counter, gliding effortlessly across the floor even under thirty-plus volumes varying in size.
"Do you have a Regular Reader card, sir?" asked the cashier, scanning Kaiba's books and raising an eyebrow ever-so-slightly at the recurrent subject matter apparent of the books.
"No," said Kaiba. "I don't shop here regularly."
"I… see," was the cashier's confused reply. "Have a nice day."
Kaiba grasped the bags and made his way out as smoothly as he had come.
He drew his pale hand through brown bangs idly as he read, muttering to himself and occasionally jotting down notes. Two piles of books lay to either side of him, one considerably larger than the other; he had worked his way through more than half of them in short time. Upon finishing a particularly thick volume, Kaiba took a moment to sigh audibly before reaching for the next.
It was one of the comic books.
"FAKE," he read to himself, writing down the name with one hand as he flipped it open with the other. "New York policemen…? Let's see if it's any good…"
A half hour later found Seto Kaiba quickly snapping the book shut and going to get a cold drink.
That was why, after several more hours in which he examined various psychological studies and romantic novels, Kaiba was considerably wary of opening the next comic that he chanced to pick up. Very wary. Kaiba wondered whether he should read it near an open flame just in case.
But, no, he did not condone the burning of books. He flipped to the first page, a sense of vague uneasiness and apprehension growing within him.
It was called Gravitation? That did not bode well. Kaiba wondered exactly what was doing the gravitating, before he decided that he didn't want to know just yet.
"So, it's a story about a would-be rock idol…?" he mumbled a few pages in, still taking notes.
"A rock idol? Sounds cool! What'cha reading?" interrupted his younger brother, bouncing into the den – Kaiba's designated 'office'.
Kaiba twitched, closing the book before Mokuba could look over his shoulder. "Reference material."
"For what? Are you developing a new game?" Mokuba's eyes lit in excitement. "Will I get to test it?"
"…Maybe…" said Kaiba noncommittally.
"So all of these books are reference? 'A Study of Homosexu…'" The young boy paused. "Uh, Seto? What kind of game…"
"One that you might not want to play," interrupted Kaiba. After a moment in which Mokuba looked as though his world had been turned upside down, Seto added, "Some members of the staff suggested the idea to me."
"What time is it? Are you hungry?" said Kaiba, in an attempt to shift the topic to more familiar ground. It succeeded.
"Uh, it's seven thirty. Can we have pizza? Can we?"
"You had pizza last night."
"But you didn't. You didn't eat at all. Come on, Seto. Eat with me. Eat pizza with me. Please?"
He sighed. "All right. Go and order it. No olives, though."
"Darn. I was so hoping for olives…"
Kaiba smiled. "The sooner you call…"
"Right! I'm on it!" And, with that, Mokuba had dashed back out of the den.
Kaiba opened to the page he had been on and resumed reading.
He had, as promised, eaten dinner with Mokuba, even suffering through the child's choice of sitcom. Following that, though, he had gone back to his research.
Midnight, and he had finally blown his way through every book.
What should he do next?
2.) Attractive males.
Pfft. He had himself as a reference.
So, moving on …
A plot might help.
However, he still wasn't quite sure how to go about it. After all, books still could be different from the real thing.
…The real thing.
Kaiba was beginning to get an idea, but he didn't like it.